JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Note: The video above is from a previous related report.)
Wolfson Children's Hospital is joining a national push to help children going through mental health crises.
The hospital is joining the "Sound the Alarm for Kids" campaign to raise awareness for the national mental health emergency in kids and teens. The campaign calls for legislation and funding for children's mental health resources.
The campaign, launched by the Children's Hospital Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, urges federal lawmakers to act.
According to a news release from Wolfson, children's hospitals across the country "reported a shocking 45% increase in the number of self-injury and suicide cases in 5- to 17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019."
“This issue began long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has certainly made it worse,” said Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital in the news release. “In addition to providing care for the children in the hospital, it is our responsibility to reach into the community and advocate for children, finding ways to intervene before they end up in crisis and calling on those in power to increase funding for services.”
The release goes on to say that the rates of mental health emergencies among children have significantly increased during the pandemic, including:
- A 300% increase in pediatric behavioral health emergency admissions at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
- A 200% increase in requests for Wolfson Children’s Behavioral Health outpatient appointments.
- A 14% increase in mental health emergencies for 5- to 17-year-olds seen at children's hospitals nationwide in the first two quarters of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.
If you would like to join Wolfson in its call for action, you can email your elected officials with one click at soundthealarmforkids.org.
Last year, Wolfson launched a program to help adults start conversations with kids and teens, boost mental wellness and prevent crises. The On Our Sleeves program is free and can be accessed by visiting WolfsonChildrens.com/OnOurSleeves.
If you or your child needs to speak with someone immediately, call the Wolfson Children's 24/7 Kids & Teens Helpline at 904-202-7900 or text LIFE to 741741.